Manchester hiker races 100k for blind veterans
3 July 2013 14:45
A sports enthusiast from Manchester, Garry Rathbone, this week managed to complete a gruelling 100k hike for charity - in just over 17 hours.
IT manager Garry completed the hike from London to Brighton in order to raise money for Blind Veterans UK. He was the first to complete the event, clocking in at 17 hours and eleven minutes - soundly beating the 24-hour time limit set for completing the challenge.
Garry said: "I've never really done that sort of distance before, but when I heard about the 100k hike and about Blind Veterans UK, it sounded like a perfect challenge for a great cause.
"I'm attracted to causes that have a personal touch and care for people who are often left out of - or ignored by - the mainstream. The fact that Blind Veterans UK offers such great support to veterans who might otherwise have been forgotten really appeals to me."
Garry dedicated his hike to his father, Alan, who passed away this year and inspired a love of solo hiking in his son.
Garry has managed to raise over £400 for Blind Veterans UK, easily surpassing his target of £250. He said: "I'm not an experienced ultra runner, just somebody who keeps himself fit and likes a big challenge every year. I set out with the objective of running the first 20km and then hiking the rest, and then seeing what time I could finish in.
"But the great thing is the nature of the event kept me engaged and focused all the time. It combined so many of the sports challenges I have done in the past, while being a completely unique experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it and there wasn't a single moment of it when I wanted to be elsewhere. I would definitely do it again."
The event is Blind Veterans UK's biggest annual fundraiser and takes walkers from a starting point in south London, along the banks of the Thames, through countryside paths in Surrey, Sussex and the North and South Downs to the charity's centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.
To support Garry Rathbone, go to: www.justgiving.com/gazrathbone
For more information about the Blind Veterans UK's athletic fundraising challenges, and about the charity's work, visit: www.blindveterans.org.uk/running